by Philippa LodgeGENRE: Historical RomanceBLURB:Aurore was delighted when a marriage was arranged with the boy she loved, her older brother's friend Dominique, Comte de Bures. But in a few years the first rush of joy has worn off, and their promising life seems ruined by loss, betrayal, and misunderstanding.One terrifying morning mercenaries overrun their château and usurpers take Aurore hostage. Miles away at Versailles, where he is required to dance attendance on Louis XIV, Dominique is nearly killed by a crossbow bolt.Escaping, Aurore travels with a troupe of itinerant musicians, hiding in the open while discovering hidden resources within herself.Dom sets out to find his wife. He needs his old life back. He needs revenge. But his lands, his title, and his honor mean nothing unless he can win back the love of his indispensable wife.Excerpt:From atop the battlements, Dom signaled to the men. A musket ball whistled past his head at the same moment he heard the report of a musket. He ducked, still exposed to the courtyard but making less of a target of himself. He yanked the monk’s robes off over his head and fit an arrow to his longbow, then let the arrow fly at the large man who had ducked behind a low wall to reload his musket. The angle was bad and the arrow glanced off the wall, but it scraped across the man’s chain mail and went through the exposed sleeve of his tunic.Dom cursed his sore bow arm, wondering briefly if it would ever regain full strength. The man pulled back further behind the slight cover the wall gave him, his arm pumping as he jammed a new musket ball into the barrel of his gun. Dom shot another arrow, just a hair higher, and sank it into the man’s right arm. The musket flew to the side as the man spun and fell.Dom and Henri scanned the courtyard for other traitors as horsemen thundered through the gate, shouting and brandishing sabers. Jean-Louis had arrived, followed by Le Fèvre and some others of Dom’s personal guards. Cédric and his group would be on foot right behind them. The baron led a division which would guard the gates from the outside in case any mercenaries were in the village and came to their leaders’ aid.Pâques was with him. The man had insisted on coming, seeking vengeance for the loss of his left arm. It was probably only because of Pâques that Dom had not tried even harder to leave Aurore behind. Pâques still could not fight well, though as he was less of a target than Aurore, and he had extensive training before his injury; he would not be a liability.Dom shook thoughts of Aurore, tiny and vulnerable, from his mind, swung his bow to his back, and left Henri and Paul-Bénédicte on the battlements as he rattled down the stairs, eager to be among the first into the château itself, eager to flush out the enemy leaders. He noted that a crowd of villagers armed with shovels, axes, and pitchforks was streaming through the gates behind Cédric’s troops and the man he had shot with an arrow was no longer in the corner. He brandished his sword and pushed past the few men who were fighting back, barely glancing at Jean-Louis as he dismounted to follow. Cédric’s friend de Ligny bashed a man in a nightshirt with the pommel of his sword and stuck close to Dom’s left side, helping shove through the confused crowd. Cries of “It’s the comte!” rose up around him.AUTHOR Bio and Links:Philippa Lodge has been an avid reader since she asked her mother to point out where it said "Ma" in Little House in the Big Woods. She read everything she could get her hands on until grad school in French Studies, at which time she lost her reading mojo. Only through the twin discoveries of Harry Potter and romance has she gotten her groove back and gone back to the stuff she loved about seventeenth century France: kings, swords, opulence, and love. She lives in the suburbs of Sacramento, CA with her husband, three children, two cats, and a head full of courtesans (Oo la la!). She does the newsletter for her local chapter of the Romance Writers of America.Links:Twitter: @plaatschFacebook: facebook.com/AuthorPhilippaLodgeGIVEAWAYPhilippa will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC
to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.